Kelly Roys

Herring, J. E. (2011). Improving students’ web use and information literacy: A guide
for teachers and teacher librarians. London: Facet Publishing. doi: 10.3233/EFI-2010-0888

Summary: Review of James Herring’s new volume on information literacy skills includes the processing and evaluation on web usage. Herring is a professional who has been publishing works related to teacher librarians and theories for practicum in information literacy for over 30 years. The review of the book details the overarching themes to the nine chapters within the book. The beginning chapters of the book are detailed to introductory on web usage pre-Web 2.0. Herring’s volume promotes a few models of theory for learning when using technology and the author reviewing the book notes that there are parts of the volume that not all will agree with and the reader should be made aware of these sections.

Evaluation: I found this review of Herring’s book to be of value as it notes the background of the author, the preferences towards theories applicable to teacher librarians, teachers and students. The volume is practical and theory based, which allows the reader to both apply what they are learning in a contextual aspect. The review does not lean heavily to one perspective of the author and his work. The review describes the book for its application and relativity in relation to the topic and allows the reader of the review to make their own conclusion as to whether the volume will be of interest to them to read.

Enabling inquiry learning in fixed-schedule libraries

Alison Dinicola


Stubeck, C.J. (2015). Enabling inquiry learning in fixed-schedule libraries. Knowledge Quest, 43(3), 28-34.

This article discusses the process one school librarian went through to create a collaborative learning experience for fifth graders while being in a fixed library schedule. Carole Stubeck talked about how she had tried doing a stand-alone project with students and that it took several months to complete since she only saw her students once a week for a short period of time. After getting advise from a former library professor, she got in touch with a fifth grade teacher and an instructional facilitator to create a inquiry unit on the American Civil War. Carole and the classroom teacher developed a spiral collaboration model for their ISP (Information Search Process) allowing students to work continuously on their project without having to wait for the next library visit. “Action research is a continuous spiral of reflecting, planning, and acting.” The overall assessment for the school librarian and her colleagues would take 3 years with each year a review of what worked and what didn’t work with their ISP. Both the students and the teachers used Edmodo to discuss ideas, update progress, post questions and get answers, and submit assignments. Edmodo made it easier for Carole and her colleagues to review, discuss ideas, and follow students progress from a distance as their schedules didn’t make it easy for them to meet. Once the project was done, Carole and her colleagues met to review the success and failure of the overall project. “[Their] greatest success was proving [they] could collaborate on a unit using Guided Inquiry despite the limitations of fixed library scheduling.”

This article showed that if a librarian is willing to think outside the “fixed library schedule” a collaborative unit could not only be designed but implemented successfully. I found this article helpful in showing how as a librarian I don’t have to be limited by a fixed-schedule to be able to collaborate with a classroom teacher to teach a lesson. I liked the idea of a spiral action plan; though the classroom teacher and the librarian wouldn’t be in the classroom together, they wouldn’t be teaching a lesson individually. The entire lesson would be continuous process of planning, acting, and reflecting both by the teacher and the librarian. I liked the idea that as one stopped the other one would pick up where the last one left off. Both were using their expertise but together. I highly recommend this article as many of us librarian are in a fixed-schedule environment.

Implementing change in traditional topic

Shibrie Wilson


Dillon, S., & Laughlin, A. (2016, March 7). Unbury the past: apps and websites for exploring ancient worlds, mix it up. Retrieved from

Summary: Kids should be aware of other ancient civilization and histories and not limited to Ancient Greece and Egypt. Dillon and Laughlin created a bibliographic of reliable sources available to students and teachers. Websites were chosen based on frequency of utilization in their own librarian careers. All five websites provide free access and labeled by grade and includes target audience either for students, teachers, or both. Each website contains different interfaces for students to use. For example, National Geographic Ancient World News contains information about discoveries or recent destructions. Ancient  World News contains information about discoveries or recent destructions; Ancient Civilizations Online is an online textbook and covers places such as Egypt, the early Middle East, Ancient Greece, Ancient Rome, Africa, South Asia, China, Japan, and South and Central America. There also downloadable apps available for purchase to enhance research. Also, utilizing accounts such as twitter to collaborate with other educators who have quizzes, daily post, and pictures. 
Review: Really wish I would have known about this blog earlier. Recently, had classes come in for research and I provided resources we have in print and online but this would have expanded their research. This is an awesome resource in which teachers can collaborate with TLs to find more information and develop lesson. I appreciate that it provides grade levels appropriateness. Looking forward to working with this in future. 

Work with Me: Collaborating for STEM Learning

Kira Painchaud


Morris, R.J. (2014). Work with me: Collaborating for stem learning. School Library Monthly, 30(8), 8-10.
This article talks about how classrooms are collaborating in school library settings to promote student learning. The concept of instructional partnership is addressed in relation to STEM and Common Core Standards being implemented. In this article the librarian role is to guide teachers and students in their quest for information seeking while directing teachers and students to worth while texts and media. Reading for deeper meaning and diversity in subjects are also talked about in relation to  co-teaching between teachers and librarians. Students are encouraged to develop math and literacy skills for the purpose of using in real life applications.  
This article is an interesting account of a school librarian’s experiences in helping to develop collaborative best practices as a librarian before Common Core Standards were established. As a librarian professional, the article is inspirational.

Roys, Kelly

Heider, K. L. (2009). Information Literacy: The missing link in early childhood education. Early Childhood Education Journal: Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. doi: 10.1007/s10643-009-0313-4

Summary: Heider’s research focuses on the necessity of early education to focus on reading to learn instead of learning to read with the assistance of greater informational texts. The library media specialist is a critical component as she argues that quality school library programs are advantageous in the learning environment. She describes three models of planning and reflection for the educators to ensure deeper learning.

Evaluation:  The article stresses the importance of Common Core learning standards and Library Instruction and Program Standards. It is important to see how the reflection process plays a part in learning and teaching. The idea of the models provides context for how to begin thinking about constructivist theory in education.

Serious Gaming and 21st Century Skills

Samnath, Kayla 

IL: information literacy and 21st century skills

Romero, M., Usart, M., & Ott, M. (2014). Can Serious Games Contribute to Developing and Sustaining 21st Century Skills? Games and Culture, 10(2), 148-177. doi:10.1177/1555412014548919
            This article examined if serous gaming could help develop 21st century skills. Authors Romero, Usart, and Ott (2014) first define and explain the need for 21st century skills. 21st century skills encompass the idea that technology has become “an entire strategy for how to live, survive, and thrive” in this new day and age (p. 149). Younger generations “communicate, buy and sell, search information, and socialize differently” (p. 149). Now a day’s technology has enabled most everybody to not only information share with peers, but with others all around the world. Some sets of skills used as an example are personal skills, social skills, and learning skills. These skills involve “the ability to rapidly filter huge amounts of incoming data; extracting information valuable for decision making, and the ability to separate signal from noise in a potentially overwhelming flood of incoming data” (p. 151). After defining what 21st century skills are, and why they are necessary, the authors then focus on defining what they mean by “serious gaming”. According to the authors, serious gaming (or SG) is education oriented, and that “games in which education (in its various forms) is the primary goal, rather than entertainment” (p. 151).
            The authors explain how “games enable an active learning approach that encourages critical thinking, group communication, debate and decision making” (p. 167). These mirror what scholars have defined as 21st century skills. For example serious games have challenges that promote collaboration, competition, strategy and tactics that are used within the mechanics of the game (168). In a day and age where technology is connection everyone, serious games promote these skills and enable massive amounts of learning.
            I found this article to be quite interesting and helpful. It examined 21st century skills in terms of serious games. I felt this to be quite important due to the fact that gaming is on the rise. It is very relevant in terms of today’s youth culture. Technology and gaming are synonymous, and this has implemented the need for 21stcentury skills.  With new technology emerging daily, the ways people learn and interact with their environment is forever changed.  
            For a reader who is unsure of how to define or examine 21st century skills, this article does a great job explaining them through the example of serious games. The article offers a large chart on data gathered by the authors that compare certain 21stcentury skills to skills acquired through gaming. Some of the major examples used are: Collaboration and teamwork, communication, computer/digital literacy, social skills, creativity, critical thinking, problem solving, self-direction, adaptability, manage and solve conflicts. This article does a great job in assisting novices to understand the importance of 21st century skills and what they can offer learners.

Divide with innovation

Shibrie Wilson


Matthews, K. (2016, January 27). Are we creating an innovation divide? Retrieved from 21st Century Library Blog website:

Summary: When imagining the word “innovation” we typically have a colossal perspective at to what it consist of. Innovation in technology contains many distinct facets. Innovation is not based on a particular concept, being that individuals and organizations have different notions. Kimberly Matthews, reviews grants and noticed commonality of how organizations stat their contributions to expounding upon innovative technology in their communities. There is often a variety of candidates, unfortunately some libraries do not receive funding because their idea is perceived as not “innovative enough.” There needs to be a balance in funding because libraries are at different stages of innovation in which adhere to their communities. In field of librarianship we are dedicated to providing equal services, Matthews states that persons approve grants should have that same approach to innovation grants. Assuring each community and library has opportunity to receive funding and support is vital so that there is not a subset of libraries in which lack. 

Review: Intriguing article to read and learn about division within technology. As librarians and perspective candidates of officials to decided if organizations receive grants we need to be thoughtful. We are suppose to provide support to all communities, but such is not occurring when we choose to compare libraries on different spectrums. Hopefully, Matthews vocalizing here opinion will reset current ramifications for grant approvals. 

Transformation of traditional libraries

Shibrie Wilson


Holland, B. (2015, February 14). 21st-Century Libraries: the learning commons. Retrieved from

Summary: Since 2600 BCE libraries have existed for purpose of archiving recorded knowledge. Due to technology and accessibility in many locations libraries are reinventing themselves sense materials are no longer confined to print. Institutions are creating environment in which text materials are obsolete and therefore encouraging libraries to revamp spaces creating and environment for “collaboration and knowledge con-construction.” Due to digital technology students no longer need access to library to retrieve resources. Libraries are becoming learning commons in which encourages participatory learning and provides variety of sources. Within article are different accounts of school librarians successfully initiating transformation in school libraries.  A school located in Chicago has transformed library into a flexible space with moveable furniture, break out rooms, and additional resources created to encourage collaboration and sharing. Creating a space without barriers was the concept of a high school librarian in Austin, Texas deemed as “library hub.” Opposed to stereotypical environment of silence and independent study this library discourages  such and encourages collaboration and active learning. Providing culminating activities create learning hubs, and transparent facilities are way in which libraries can supplant the traditional. Creating an environment in which students can create their own environment. Innovative transformation of libraries will inspire students. 

Review: Inspiring article for all librarians and specifically for those who recent library graduates and those in library studies for programs. This a great article in which exposes different aspects of how libraries are and will continue to be relevant in evolving world of technology. One contribution in which I noticed is that librarians in article were benefactors of change and were not afraid to disassociate themselves from the norm. 

School Libraries, Librarians, and Inquiry Based Learning

Gooding, Elyssa

LEVITOV, D. (2016). School Libraries, Librarians, and Inquiry Learning. Teacher Librarian, 43(3), 28-35.
This article gives an overview of learning theories and compares old thinking to new thinking. The learning shift from constructivist instruction to inquiry based librarians the opportunity to influence and participate in instruction. Librarians have a unique position in schools where they can show how inquiry based learning supports national standards.
Explaining the influence that teacher librarians can have on inquiry based curriculum and how it is supported by standards is good evidence to support the role of professional teacher librarians.

Why Edcamp?

Hoff, Jane

CO – Collaboration Strategies in Professional Development

Swanson, K. (2013, April 23). Why Edcamp?. Retrieved April 17, 2016, from Edcamps,

Summary:  First started in 2010, Edcamp has gained a tremendous amount of support from educators interested in professional development that accommodates their desire for collaborative learning environments designed by teachers, for teachers.  The author lists the primary reasons why Edcamp has been, and continues to be, so successful.  First, Edcamp is free, in more ways than one: 1) There is no cost to attend, 2) attendees are free to choose and move through sessions based on their interests, and 3) Edcamps are held on Saturdays, accommodating teachers’ work schedules and not costing them a personal day to attend.  Second, Edcamp is structured as a participant driven professional development conference where everyone has authority and are free to participate as they wish.  Thus Edcamps promote productive conversation and effective collaboration as the platform for learning.  Edcamp sessions are scheduled on the day of the event, ensuring a more organic collaborative learning environment, rather than planned and canned presentations.  Similarly, Edcamps are hosted by individuals and organizations that are not affiliated with vendors or commercial entities, and as a result are not designed to sell anything or any way of thinking.  In essence, the success of Edcamps is owing to the collaborative platform is promotes.  Professional development through the sharing of ideas with other professionals in the field generates a +1 effect (two heads are greater than one) in learning and generating of ideas.

Review:  This article was written by an Edcamp “veteran,” and is clearly designed to inform educators of the collaborative method and resource for professional development.  Swanson does an excellent job of describing the Edcamp method, despite obvious areas that cannot be defined due to its largely organic platform.  This article inspired the idea that collaboration between education professionals might not be so bleak as observed on campuses – perhaps the key is giving educators a feeling of authority, self-determination, freedom, and voice in their professional development.  For more information on Edcamp and Edcamps that might be scheduled in your area check out their website,